Happy 2018, everybody! The word “resolution” has gotten a bad rap lately. This year it seems that people are either fiercely against making a new year’s resolution or passionately jumping headlong into their lofty goal for 2018; not much wiggle room. While I set some meaningful intentions for the year, I felt too much negative pressure to set one in particular. What did get me excited was the idea of creating a resolution with our family in mind. This time of year, I think to lift my mindset up from the downer of saying goodbye to the holidays, so looking forward to what this year can bring for us as a whole family is actually fun. Here are the things I take into account when making a family resolution: Think about what your family needs more (or less) of. Have you gotten into a rut, only leaving the house for necessities? Have you gotten into eating too much junk? Do you get outside frequently? Are you itching to share more of the world with your kids? This will probably be a pretty quick and obvious thing for you and your family to figure out. If possible, don’t do it alone. Depending on the age of your child, get them involved in the process (which is obviously irrelevant if you’ve just got a little baby at home). Either way, if you have a partner, pick their brain so that you’re not doing a resolution that only feels right for you. Whatever you resolve, make sure it’s fun! If you want your family to eat better, don’t be as strict as you might be on yourself; try saying you’ll try a new recipe or food once a week and have your family help pick some to try. If you want everyone to get more exercise, try playing outside or going for walks. If you want to travel more, make sure there are a good mix of kid-friendly spots mixed in for good measure. Keep it simple. Adult resolutions sometimes get complicated in their explanations. For example, I was watching a show recently where one of the hosts was describing her resolution and it took several minutes before you could figure out what she was resolving to do. Whether for kids or adults, it’s best to keep these things simple and cut-and-dry. Don’t forget to include a “how.” It doesn’t need to be part of the resolution itself, but discuss ways to achieve the goal. Post it somewhere in your house. A piece of art that reflects the change? Written on a dry erase board on the fridge? Scrolled on a chalkboard in the playroom? Anything goes, but seeing it will be a good reminder to stick to it. If you’re not sure where to get started, here are some sample Family Resolutions: - Spend more time outdoors. - Take more road trips. - Start a family game night. - Eat one vegetarian dinner a week. - Go camping more. - Go to the library once a week. - Get out of the house once a day. - Start doing family yoga. - Start a class together. (Kindermusik, swimming, dance, art, etc.) - Learn something new together. (How to knit or sew, play piano, learn how to ski or play tennis, etc.) - Have a weekly movie night. My family goal is to get outside more together. When things are a bit (or A LOT) warmer, I’m hoping to start slowly with just walks and nature exploration in the backyard, but to work up to hikes and nature walks. Another goal within this goal is that anytime we have a road trip this year to be sure to add one stop for fresh air - whether a park, playground, beach, or camping.